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Old April 28, 2019, 09:04 PM   #1
Crapshoooter2
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Suggestions on Powder for bolt 223

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Still a newbie and still learning. I have been learning the science / art of reloading. I have a Kreiger match grade 24 inch barrel 1:12 twist, Stiller predator action.
I use it for target and Prairie Dogs. 300 yds. Using Hornady 55gr V-Max ammo it is very accurate.

I have been loading Sierra#1390 55gr and #1410 52 gr with Benchmark 24.5g for practice and learning. Both make nice little 4 leaf clovers. Also considering #1450 50gr. Based on my limited shooting of my reloads, the rifle seems to have a slight preference for the 52gr.

The Sierra load data often lists H355 and Varget. Wondering if there are other powered that I should consider before I going to the next step of working up some loads for the rifle.


Thanking You in advance
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Old April 28, 2019, 10:34 PM   #2
Marco Califo
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H335 is it!

H335 is the retail canister version of Western Cannon 844. It is the powder used in U.S.G.I M-4's and M-16/AR-15. It is ideally suited to 223 and 556 because the U.S. military establishment tested and adopted it. WC 844 (Surplus) varies more from lot to lot. If you have a source for H335 then get several pounds. I think it will be your broadest application across all bullet weights. It is a ball powder so it meters very well.
Varget is an excellent powder for 223 with heavier bullets 65 gr and up.
You are talking about two excellent powders there, and cannot go wrong. There is no reason to search further unless you find a very specific need.
FYI CFE223, while an excellent powder, the Hodgdon Load Data velocities are exaggerated by about 10%.
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Old April 29, 2019, 05:34 AM   #3
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H335 should serve you well. Also consider trying Winchester 748. These are both ball powders and meter like water.

If you want to try a stick powder, try H4895. Varget works with light bullets, but doesn't provide top speed and anything approaching the maximum charges will be a compressed load. To be 100% honest, I'm not sure some of the Hodgdon listed max loads with 50-55gr bullets will even fit in most .223 cases.

Short version, try H335. If Benchmark works well, why do you want to change?

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Old April 29, 2019, 06:04 AM   #4
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I've used Varget with 50 vmax & 55g nosler varmageddons in 223 with very good success. 12t and 9t rifles.
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Old April 29, 2019, 06:24 AM   #5
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With wife's Savage 110FP, i'm using mostly Win 748, and Alliant Varmint with 55gr bullets for plinking use.
Either powder will put 20 rounds within an inch at 100 yards with boring regularity.

With the 1:9 twist, i've been practicing at 300 yards with 69gr STMK getting ready for a 600 yard match coming up.
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Old April 29, 2019, 08:12 AM   #6
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I've standardized my 5.56mm reloads with H335, it's a decent powder that meters well. I typically use IMR rifle powders, but I found most of the load data produced compressed loads once I had creeped up on the higher end of the loading data... and I don't do compressed. That isn't to say you shouldn't try them in your quest for The Load. If I were looking for an alternative to H335, I would try W748, as others have mentioned, and Western TAC... another ball powder that meters well and from what I have read, others have had very good experience with.
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Old April 29, 2019, 08:40 AM   #7
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I use H335 behind 40, 55, 60, and 65 gr bullets. I tried plenty of other powders and finally settled on H335.
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Old April 29, 2019, 12:07 PM   #8
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P-990

Having very little experience in reloading, figured I would ask the question because I have no previous experience to base my powder selection. Nothing wrong with the Benchmark... Saw H355 was listed many times, it is a ball powder and might be a tad easier to measure out in Lee Deluxe Powder drum.

Crapshoooter2

Thanks for your suggestions
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Old April 29, 2019, 12:27 PM   #9
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If you consider going "old school" and stick powders don't overlook IMR 4198.

Old Lyman manuals list IMR 4198 as their "accuracy load" for .223, with 50, 52 and 55gr jacketed bullets and Lyman lists IMR 4198 as they powder in their "factory duplication load" (which duplicates factory performance, not factory components)

IMR 4198 has a long history or accuracy in the .222 Rem, as well, and was the go to powder for a generation of benchrest and varmint .222 shooters. It does as well in the .223.

It does NOT, however, "meter like water". Deal with it.
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Old April 29, 2019, 12:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crapshoooter2 View Post
P-990



Having very little experience in reloading, figured I would ask the question because I have no previous experience to base my powder selection. Nothing wrong with the Benchmark... Saw H355 was listed many times, it is a ball powder and might be a tad easier to measure out in Lee Deluxe Powder drum.



Crapshoooter2



Thanks for your suggestions
Nothing wrong with wanting to try new powders, bullets, etc. That's half the fun of reloading for many of us!

I should've noted, one thing to be careful of if you try W748, is that it's temperature sensitive. Max loads and hot days do not mix well with 748. I've never noticed H335 to be as sensitive to temperature changes as 748, but I haven't run H335 near max either.

Varget has always been very good to me in regards to stability in varied temperature and humidity conditions. My match ammo shot the same no matter what the time of year or what range I was on.

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Old April 29, 2019, 01:10 PM   #11
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"...nice little 4 leaf clovers..." Assuming that's at 100 yards, I'd say you're done.
You do not require bullet maker specific data. You load according to the bullet weight, not who made it. The Benchmark will do nicely for the V-Max.
Oh and prairie dogs won't care who or what bullet killed 'em. The Sierra's will do nicely.
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Old April 29, 2019, 05:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P-990 View Post
Nothing wrong with wanting to try new powders, bullets, etc. That's half the fun of reloading for many of us!

I should've noted, one thing to be careful of if you try W748, is that it's temperature sensitive. Max loads and hot days do not mix well with 748. I've never noticed H335 to be as sensitive to temperature changes as 748, but I haven't run H335 near max either.

Varget has always been very good to me in regards to stability in varied temperature and humidity conditions. My match ammo shot the same no matter what the time of year or what range I was on.

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I have tried H-335 near max, and have experienced some dramatic pressure signs. I switched to Ramshot TAC years ago and have been very pleased. It seems to burn cleaner, too, and maintains decent accuracy for several hundred rounds without cleaning. Surprisingly, Varget has not been the temperature resistant that others have claimed in my experience. I blew primers at 2 grains below published maximum charges in hot weather in my .243 Win.
For the .223 Rem., I would try 26.0 gr of TAC behind a 50 gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip, Hornady V-Max or SX. Or for maximum effect on prairie dogs or similar, 27.5 gr TAC behind a 40 hr Tipped bullet.
For longer range, I plan on trying some of the Hornady 62 hr HPBT from Mid-South Shooters Supply behind 24.5 gr of TAC.
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Old April 29, 2019, 05:37 PM   #13
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Nice thing about the 223 Remington cartridge is the wide range of powders you can toss in it under a wide range of bullets atop the powders. In my 26" barrel Remington bolt gun I like AA 2230 and about 25.2 grains gets me about 3,000 FPS and very good accuracy with 52/53 grain bullets. Both Sierra and Hornady flavors.

My thinking is try several powders and primers and see what works best for you. Powders like RE-7, IMR-3031, H322, Win748, IMR4895 and IMR4320 will likely, at maximum loads will likely get you the highest velocities with the bullets I mentioned but I never really subscribed to the thinking that faster is somehow better. Work up with any powder and primer combination and see what works for you. What works well for me in my rifle may totally suck in your rifle.

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Old April 29, 2019, 06:44 PM   #14
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I've been reloading .223 for around 20 years now. Probably tried 10+ different powders, and countless charge weights for each. Two powders have risen to the top. IMR3031 and Hodgdon CFE223. My best 5 shot group to date was with the CFE223, so I'm favoring it right now. When the IMR3031 is gone, I probably will stay with CFE223.
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Old April 29, 2019, 07:00 PM   #15
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Hello. I think that without question, no doubt about it, Accurate 2230 is one of the highest performance powders you can use regardless of money using 50-55 grain bullets.

Using 50 grain bullets, you would be in the 25.5-27 grain area and probably at 27 grains approaching 3475 FPS in the 50 grain bullet at OAL 2.260. Using 55 grain, the sweet spot will be between 24.5 and 26 grains. 26 grains should net you around ~3375 FPS.

I have tried and own almost every single powder that is "useful" in 223. I have a Bolt action savage 223 as well as AR's. No offense to the H335 people, but at my club, and in the circles I am in? H335 is not even close to many other choices for 223 powder, I think its average at best.

H335 cannot compete with Accurate 2230, and is not even in the same league with it. A2230 is far, far superior. AA2460 similar.

Another good one is AR Comp.
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Old May 2, 2019, 03:20 PM   #16
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I’ve had really good lick with 8208xbr and benchmark. There are recipes for both on hogdons website.
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Old May 2, 2019, 04:32 PM   #17
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I've had excellent results with Varget in the 223 and trying H335 in a Rem 783 for giggles with 53g Vmax with promising results so far.
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Old May 2, 2019, 04:37 PM   #18
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I 2nd IMR-8208 XBR. I started shooting it when it was surplus IMR-8208.

https://www.longrangehunting.com/art...st-powder.330/..

I'm shooting it in Kreiger barrel 223 and N-133 is also good powder with 52gr FB.
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Old May 3, 2019, 02:09 AM   #19
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Crapshooter2,
Please ignore T.O. he has been told time and again, not all bullets of the same weight are made the same. Yet for some reason, he just won't listen.

As Chainsaw, and Old Roper suggested, IMR 8208 XBR seems to do well.
With the type of shooting your doing, i'd recommend against CFE223. While it does give decent velocities, i just couldn't get it to settle down. ES/SD were too high. Enough to notice at 300 yards.
I have not tried AR Comp yet. If you do, please give us your feedback on it.
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Old May 3, 2019, 07:39 PM   #20
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Std7mag,

Did you try magnum primers, and if so which ones?
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Old May 4, 2019, 08:08 AM   #21
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Why, no. I did not try magnum primers.
I switched powders after i had used up the CFE223.
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Old May 4, 2019, 11:09 AM   #22
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i seldom load bullets heavier than 55 grains. Since about 1968 my favorite .223/5.56 mm powder has been IMR 3031: See no reason to change.
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Old May 4, 2019, 11:44 AM   #23
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There's a dozen of powders for the 223. The trick is finding one that gives the best accuracy in your rifle. I tried a lot of powder. A few times as little as a 5 shot group suggested "This isn't the one I need," an then gave the remaining powder away to an old deer hunting buddy that also is a home reloader.
In time I reduced the spectrum of 223 powders to two. AA-2230 & IMR 4198. Although those 223 powder experiments took place quite a few years back. Since then I haven't strayed from those results in my experimenting. There is likely a better powder made today but I'm happy with the two I found for my application.
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Old May 4, 2019, 01:23 PM   #24
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CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond or not covered by currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assumes any liability for any damage or injury resulting from the use of this information.


I've used those same powders to good effect. With 53-grain flat base MatchKings for 200-yard offhand and sitting rapid phases, I have loaded 21.3 grains of IMR4198 for my 20" match AR, lit by the Federal GM205MAR primer. It is a 1/2 moa load for me up to that range. It is close to Hodgdon's maximum load. I've also run 2230 over the course using CCI #41 primers and with that same light bullet for 200 yards at 24.6 grains, which is not a published load for the 53-grain SMK but is for the 52-grain SMK, so it may be just edging past 55,000 psi, but is still well under the CIP/NATO 62,366 psi limit, and the 77 grain-SMKs for 300 and 600 yards at 23.1 grains and the same #41 primer. That's definitely over 55,000 psi, but under Accurate's maximum for the higher CIP/NATO pressure limit. Running the same powder over the course lets me avoid powder fouling "settling", but it wastes more powder at the short range, as ballistic efficiency is under 90% there. For the heavier bullet, it's over 98%, so that's more satisfactory. So I usually stick to 4198 for 200 and let any settling occur at 300 yards during prone rapid. I've still not experimented with CFE223 for the heavier bullets.
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Old May 5, 2019, 03:53 AM   #25
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Why, no. I did not try magnum primers.
I switched powders after i had used up the CFE223.
I only use magnum primers for 223/556.
CFE223 is a slower ball powder. Consistency and lower ES & SD may, or may not, result from trying magnum primers.
If you are loading to mid-to-max velocities, or over 55 grains, I would recommend against standard primers, as they are thinner and more prone to leak or blow through at max loads.
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